Sep 15, 2009 5:18pm
Re: for HARD-CORE Bobby-bashers Only!
So why is this photo Bobby-bashing? I must be missing something - unless it's politically incorrect to have naked women in photos of the Dead performing? Naw, can't be that,
in the old days every concert had dozens of naked gals. Good times, good times.
I am the most dedicated Bobby fan around, as long as it's
in the context of the Grateful Dead. Without Phil or Jerry
to babysit (bobbysit?), his abilities decline from phenomenal to (occasionally) amateur-level.
In regards to looking at his watch, it's understandable.
Remember, what was a Dead show to us was a day job to these
guys, and the literature is full of candid remarks by all members of the band of numerous occasions when the last thing they wanted to do was to get their ass on stage and
blast away for four hours. As Jerry once famously remarked,
"No matter how transcendant the music, you were always aware
when your feet hurt like hell." That's a close paraphrase,
but the meaning's intact.
During the first Tampa '77 show Jerry made no bones about
not wanting to be there. He pouted and stamped and wore
an expression of supreme boredom and impatience the whole
show. He even stopped playing during extended periods just
to point at various people in the crowd. Strangely, it was
still a fair-to-middling show. They came back later in the
year to the same venue (pretty unique for Florida tours) and
played a killer show - I always wondered if that was some
sort of make-up effort.
Phil during the 83-85 period, despite many excellent shows,
telephoned in many shows. He couldn't have looked more detached, his body language and facial expression was consciously dismissive and his playing was minimalist on many occasions (although there were other times when he was front and center). This lackadaisical attitude eventually promptedan interviewer to ask Jerry if Phil's role in the band was declining. Garcia was politely evasive.
Even I could get bored and disaffected during fine shows.
Also, in a very large percentage of venues they have a fixed
time when they have to get off stage. In the years before
the earpods, they would have had to resort to watches to
determine how much time was left.
My favorite Dead Ennui event of all time was a truly
abysmal Oakland show some time around '86. They really didn't seem to give a damn, and as the post-Drums segment
drew to a close not only did no-one show onstage as the
drummers departed but a very lengthy silence ensued. Finally, a flustered Bobby ran distractedly on to the stage,
completely running past his guitar forcing him to retrace
his footsteps to his position. It really look like a bunch of roadies had physically flung him on stage against his will.